A mental health coaching service supporting people with mild to moderate anxiety and or depression has been launched in north east Victoria.
The NewAccess early intervention coaching program offers free services for any person struggling with life-stress. It aims to help people break the cycle of negative or unhelpful thoughts and to prevent the deterioration of symptoms.
It was created to support rural and regional Victorian communities where mental health services can be less accessible and will not require a doctor’s referral to access.
Victorian parliamentary secretary for mental Health, Steve Dimopulous, said the program would be available to people in the regional parts of the state who were still healing from the trauma of the 2019-20 bushfires.
“We haven’t forgotten how tough it’s been for bushfire-affected communities and mental health support, especially for those in the regional areas like Beechworth, remains a top priority,” Dimopulous said.
The program will be serviced by trained Wellways coaches in the local government areas of Mansfield, Alpine, Wangaratta, Indigo, Towong and Wodonga.
MP for northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes added that the recent Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system found mental health support services were critical to regional areas where there were high rates of psychological stress and suicide.
She said the government had already begun work to redevelop the state’s mental health system, noting $3.8 billion announced in the budget for mental health services and support.
“There is a lot of attention on communities in the midst of the emergency – we are making sure that help and support continues in the years after when we know trauma can continue to be experienced,” Symes said.
The mental health coaching service was developed by Beyond Blue and supported by the Victorian government.
If this article has raised concerns for you, call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.